Your New to Who FAQ: A Guide For People Ready to Meet the Doctor

Categories: Doctor Who
Why do the monsters in the old series look like crap?

Because the budget was very small and because science fiction monsters are inherently crappy looking 90 percent of the time.

Why is he called "The Doctor?"

He is one, apparently. The Doctor has claimed to hold advanced degrees in everything from medicine to cheese making. Aside from that, it's not really known why he goes by the alias. One theory is that renegade Time Lords like himself adopt aliases upon going rogue, as his enemy The Master and his friend The Corsair did.

As to what his true name is, no one knows. Obviously he has one. Other Time Lords such as Romana and Rassilon have conventional names. Supposedly "Doctor Who?" is the most powerful secret in the universe.

What is a sonic screwdriver?

The Doctor's weapon of choice. It can't kill anyone, but it opens doors, repairs barbed wire, hacks into computer systems, and even occasionally unscrews things.

What is a Dalek?

Picture R2-D2 being controlled by a tiny alien Nazi having a temper tantrum.

What's so special about this show anyway?

Well, I can only speak for me, obviously, but here goes.

Have you ever wanted to simply step out of your door one morning and be whisked away to some grand adventure? That's every single episode of Doctor Who. It's all about he takes ordinary, every-day people and shows them a universe of infinite wonder and excitement. His companions aren't special, they don't have superpowers like Superman or magic like Harry Potter or even money like Batman. They're just folks who all of a sudden get to experience the whole of space and time.

Traveling with The Doctor is literally like taking a road trip with God... except that this god needs you just as much as you need him. He's brilliant, and clever, and brave, and most of all he just wants everyone to get a long before things go to hell. Watching his human friends stand with him as he saves the universe time and time again is the very best kind of adventure because it is so easy to picture ourselves in their place.

In short, Doctor Who is a show for people that look at all of history and existence and want to knows as much about it as possible. It's being thrown into mystery and danger constantly, but also being able to handle it. It's the greatest show ever made, and I hope you'll catch it sometime.

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just watched The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances per your rec, that was one well written story. I'll give a few more a go.


I agree, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances is a fantastic place to start. When I first got obsessed with the show last year I had made it half way through season 2 and wanted to get my roommate and her then boyfriend into it. So I asked if they wanted to check out an amazing show and when they said yes I was like "I'm going to show you these two episodes and that's all, if you like it then cool!" After watching those they were hooked! We immediately went back and started from the beginning. We marathoned it so hard core until we finished season 6 and then had to wait forever for season 7 to start.


Regarding his name... Don't you remember that sequence where the Doctor and the Master are shown the time vortex and they choose their names? According to the Master, the Doctor chose this name as part of Gallifreyan customs to reflect his constant need to make people better. (TV: The Sound of Drums). As for his real name, it is known by a few, like River Song... I think it is also important to mention that this show is child friendly. Sometimes it can be a tad scary or violent, but no more than most cartoons. But, unlike cartoons, this show is intelligent and does impart lessons on tolerance and non-violent solutions.


 @drusilla.grey I remember that, when the Doctor chose his name. I mentioned that in another thread the other day, but I wasn't 100% certain if I was right. I think a few of the episodes might be a tad scary for young children -- everything Weeping Angels and The Empty Child scared the bejesus out of me -- but I agree it is a PG show safe for watching as a family. Which is nice for a change.


@kstabe1982 I guess it depends on the kid. My two were 5 and 3 when they started watching it. The younger loves The Empty Child, while the older is creeped out by it. They both love the Angles and have made a game out of being Weeping Angles. Then again, my two have a goth mother who loves horror and sci-fi and raised them with it...


 @drusilla.grey  @kstabe1982

 Someday I will make a weeping garden gnome figurine, I swear it.  In spite of the last episode of this season, I still like those guys.  Absolutely love "The Doctor Dances."  It was the first completely, totally happy ending of the new series.  "Just this once, everybody lives!"  As for introducing someone to the old series, I got my kids hooked on old "Who" with "City of Death." Timey things are happening, an old fashioned sort of cop is punching things, the Doctor keeps jumping through history so that the time travel is obvious and easy to spot for little ones, there's a squishy alien and a large prop that does special effects. 


Apropos of nothing, I think Amy and Rory were at a gallery in Houston this week: . The clothes look awfully familiar.

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